And then there were three.
I’m tickled positive to announce the third addition to the Citizen Agency team: Ben “bullshit” Metcalfe. Tara’s got most of the details, but it’s important to spell out a bit about where we’re going with this thing we’re creating (because there’s where we are and where we’re going and yes, they are two different things)…
Ben will be filling out the technical side of Citizen Agency, serving as our Grassroots Architect & CTO (a title he chose for himself). This is, of course, in addition to my experience with product development, experience design and strategic visioning and Tara’s awesome chops at grassroots cultivation and community marketing.
From the standpoint of services offered, we’re aiming squarely at the next generation breed of startups and organizations that “get it” — or have fixed desires to “get with it”. Not only will we be literally building out tools to support startups, but we’re also going to be kicking off a developer network, spearheaded by Ben (owing to his experience at the BBC), along with other services and surprises along the way.
So there’s three of us so far, and I’d like to top it off with two more to round out the team, keeping it small but having enough talent to make a real difference regardless of the challenges that confront us. And what we’re doing long term (remember I mentioned where we’re going?) is building out the environment, the conditions, the tools and the situation that will allow us, as independents, to do the work that is most satisfying, most gratifying and most of all, most meaningful to us. This won’t happen overnight, but we’ve already got a good jump on the competition, and with tremendous advisors and an excellently small group of agents, I think we’re well on our way to setting the stage for the real Declaration of Independents.
Reviews seemed to be pretty positive about our session, Think Small, which Kosso did a great job filming (yay for vlogging!).
You can grab the slides as a PDF (180K) or the original Keynote (1.8MB) (CC Attribution-ShareAlike license). Or, if you’re like Chris Pirillo and you feel inspired, you can grab yourself.
It’s been a mad dash these past couple weeks getting things sorted and started out on Citizen Agency, the startup that Tara and I founded just about two weeks ago.
We’ve incorporated (in Delaware, of course), had four tremendous individuals agree to be our advisors, found a third agent, begun to work on the underpinnings of our Developer Network (aka CA DevNet) and already have signed up a number of clients and a very cool project that we’ll be talking about over on the new blog (working on a theme for that as well). Oh, we found a lawyer (as Ted said, the only thing that still hasn’t changed in business).
We’ve had some help with our identity and are still working out the kinks, but the business cards that we produced a day before Gnomedex seem to have gone over pretty well so far.
So there’s much more to come and much more to get ideas and advice on, but at least the foundation is beginning to solidify… oh, and if you’re not sure what we’re going to do, y’know, to make money and stuff, well, hold tight, we’re still figuring that one out too. “Go after what you love doing and the rest will follow” seems to be our operating assumption at the moment. We’ll see how it goes.
So in case you missed it, Tara left Riya very recently, following a trend that’s at least a couple months old (but blowing out recently).
The obvious question is: “what comes next?”
Well, without much time and without much hesitation (which means going on the sense in our collective gut, which our worldly president espouses), we decided to take the plunge and start our own consorgency.
We’re calling it Citizen Agency. And we’re still trying to figure out what we’re gunna shape it into… but we’ve got some initial ideas.
The name was spontaneous to be sure, as we’re on a tight deadline to get this thing launched, but it captures some of the important organizing principles behind what we’re doing. And of course, no good project or idea is without a kickoff track to its soundtrack… so, substitute “Patriot” with “Citizen” in the eponymous song by Pearl Jam and a picture starts to emerge:
And I ain’t no communist
And I ain’t no socialist
And I ain’t no capitalist
And I ain’t no imperialist
And I ain’t no democrat
I sure ain’t no republican either
I only know one party, and that is freedom
Whatever this thing we’re building is, it’s gunna be consistent with everything that’s lead to our shared success so far, including starting with a community model and building it out through channels that respect the dignity of our consorgents and partners.
Ah, and if you have an idea of what kind of symbol might represent this idea, we’re all eyes.